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For His Happiness

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            After a moment of confusion, someone finally took the microphone to announce whatever was there to announce and get it over with. However, when they heard the speaker’s voice, it wasn’t Mrs. Edelstein’s.

 

            “GOOD MORNING CHICKS AND DICKS! THIS IS THE AWESOME GILBERT BEILSHMIDT SPEAKING”

 

            “That’s a one-week detention for calling such atrocity in school grounds!” Mr. Edelstein growled while facepalming. The students don’t mind it at all. In fact, they found it amusing. Gilbert continued speaking through the microphone.

 

            “WE INTERRUPT THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITH A SPECIAL PROPOSAL BY ALFRED F. JONES.”

 

            Oh, so this is the “project” he’s been talking about. Kiku thought.

 

            “MR. AFJ IS GOING TO SING THE JAPANESE COVER OF A FAMOUS CLASSIC ORIGINALLY COMPOSED BY FRANK VALLI, AND IT WILL BE PLAYED BY THE FAMOUS SAXOPHONE MUSICIAN: MY LITTLE BIRDIE, MATTHEW WILLIAMS. OH AND BEFORE WE BEGIN, MR. ALFRED SAID SORRY IF HE BUTCHERED YOUR LANGUAGE, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

            WARNING: THIS MAY CANCEL FIRST PERIOD TESTS.”

 

            Kiku’s face was frozen. Students began to mumble in excitement as they took a quick glance at him. Matthias and Lukas snapped him back to reality just in time: a low, yet soothing masculine voice echoed the entire school.

 

            Yume no yōna kimi               (You’re just too good to be true)

            Megahanasenai                      (Can’t take my eyes off of you)

            Kimi wa tenshimitai             (You’d be like heaven to touch)

     

            Oh my god, is that really Alfred?! That’s the majority of the reaction. Men dropped their jaws, women fangirled even though the song was not for them, and the triggered audience sat there, astounded and speechless of the beauty.

     

            Tsuyoku dakishimetai             (I wanna hold you so much)

            Ai ga otozure                                    (At long last love has arrived)

            Kami ni kansha shite                        (And I thank God I’m alive)

            Yume no yōna kimi               (You’re just too good to be true)

            Megahanasenai                      (Can’t take my eyes off of you)

     

            A melody from the saxophone could be heard from the background.

     

            Mitsume sugitara gomen            (Pardon the way that I stare)

            Kurabe raremasen                   (There’s nothing else to compare)

            Kimi ga mabushii                 (The sight of you leaves me weak)

            Nani mo ienai                                  (There are no words left to speak)

            Omoi onajinara                    (But if you feel like I feel)

            Itte kurenai ka?                 (Please let me know that it’s real)

     

            Kiku felt butterflies in his stomach while Matthias smiled at him goofily.

     

            Yume no yōna kimi               (You’re just too good to be true)

            Megahanasenai                      (Can’t take my eyes off of you)

     

            Just then, the melody of the saxophone turned into a high-spirited upbeat, followed by a short instrumental. The entire school took it as the time to appreciate Alfred’s seraphic vocal work as well as Matthew’s brilliant exertion with his instrument. They said multiple compliments with a smile, whereas Kiku covered his mouth to hide the secret grin behind his palm as he heard the tone getting louder, Alfred’s tenor reached its peak. He was getting excited!

     

            Aishiteru BABY                       (I love you, Baby)

            Moshi yokattara                    (And if it’s quite alright)

            Iru yo BABY                           (I need you, Baby)

            Samishi yoru o…                    (To warm a lonely night)

            Aishiteru BABY                       (I love you, Baby)

     

            Boku o shinjite                                    (Trust in me when I say)

     

            When he sang the last line, Alfred appeared at the doorway, leaning against the frame with a wireless microphone on one hand. He was wearing a denim jacket, a white buttoned shirt underneath with a visible black shirt underneath it, blue denim pants, and black combat boots. Kiku never forgets what he looked like on that day, and he never will. Alfred continued his song while moving to Kiku’s table, and the rest clapped with the rhythm while silently chorused the English version of the song.

     

            Itoshī BABY                           (Oh, pretty baby)

            Gakkari sa retakunai             (Don’t bring me down, I pray)

            Itoshī BABY                           (Oh, pretty baby)

            Soba ni itai                               (Now that I found you, stay)

            Aishitai BABY                         (And let me love you, baby)

     

            Aishitai                                   (And let me love you)

     

            At the same time as Alfred finished the song; he was already on one knee while presenting Kiku an opened necklace box with a prom ticket on it.

     

            By the time the song ended, the people in the room (saved for Kiku) applauded and cheered as if they were in a concert (well, it does look like it a bit). Moments later, Gilbert joined them in while grinning like an idiot, followed by Mrs. Edelstein who slapped him at the head and then Matthew came with his saxophone. As for the intended audience, Kiku was stuck on his chair; brown eyes glowed while he stared at the blond man kneeling before him with his hopeful smile. His mouth was slightly parted as if he was about to say something, and yet he realized that words betrayed him. He was speechless, surprised, astonished, astounded, mind-blown, whatever words fitted to describe his position. And how did he respond to all of this? Well, he hid his face in his hands as soon as he felt the red tints on his face spread throughout his skin. Alfred had seen this expression a lot of times, in which, as usual, he “awed” and hugged the Japanese while he buried his face on his chest. The rest of the people found this adorable as they made an “aww” sound as well.

     

            “You, cheeseburger! This is what you’ve been trying to do?” Kiku muffled without lifting his head up.

     

            “Awww Keeks. I’m sorry if I embarrass you.” Alfred cooed and kissed the top of Kiku’s head. “I know this makes you uncomfortable so I won’t do it, again, okay? Please don’t be mad at me.”

     

            While the two were taking their sweet time, Mrs. Edelstein took the microphone from the chair where Alfred settled it down and continued the morning announcement.

     

            “WOW! THANK YOU, ALFRED, FOR THAT WONDERFUL MESSAGE. LET’S JUST HOPE EVERYTHING WILL TURN OUT WELL. AS I WAS SAYING, THE SCHOOL LUNCH IS GOING TO BE CHEESE PIZZA AND PASTA. AND… UM… THAT’S ALL. HAVE A GREAT DAY LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.”

     

            She set the microphone off and wrung Gilbert’s ear, earning him a painful expression.

     

            “As for you, you little rascal, that’s three weeks detention!” she sneered.

     

            “Three weeks?!” Gilbert cried, even more, surprised than Kiku. “What did I do?! Little Birdie, help me here.”

     

            Matthew was about to say something but he cut off by Mrs. Edelstein.

     

            “Nonsense, don’t drag Mattie here with your inhumane shenanigans!” she said while gesturing her hand at Matthew to not speak anything. “He and Alfred had good reasons to barge in my office after showing their hall passes while you came out from nowhere and forcefully took my mike. Not to mention, you addressed men and women in the most unsuitable profanity.”

     

            “’Chicks and Dicks’?” Gilbert snorted. “That’s not even the worse. Also, the reason why I don’t have a hall pass is because I’m late. But don’t blame me! I don’t control the traffic in this area!”

     

            Mrs. Edelstein groaned, and then she saw her husband calmly standing behind Gilbert. “Mr. Edelstein, what do you think?”

     

            Mr. Edelstein shook his head as if he had given up everything including his existence. “Do whatever it is you got to do with him, Mrs. Edelstein. Anything to stop him before I kill myself.”

     

            “I’m not even your student!” Gilbert retorted desperately.

     

            “You heard the man, now move!” she said while trying to drag him away by the ear before he stopped her.

     

            “Wait! Before you do that, do you think you can afford to send me to the detention’s office while you’re missing the show right there?”

 

            As he spoke, Mrs. Edelstein thought about what he said and decided to let go of his ear. Now everyone’s eyes were focused on Alfred and Kiku, who had finally regained his posture.

 

            The raven-haired sighed. “You made me worry for nothing,” he said while trying not to laugh.

 

            Alfred smiled at his statement and replied, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you. I just don’t want to spoil the surprise for you.”

 

            Then Kiku realized something, “Wait! What about-“

 

            “Lien? Matthias and I set her up with her Thai nerd friend, Chaiya.”

 

            Kiku looked back at Matthias and gave him thumbs up. Oh, so that’s why he was in Matthias’ place days ago. But there are still some questions that he was begging for some answers.

 

            “But when Lien-san asked you, you said-“

 

            “I didn’t say it was her,” Alfred answered as if he knew already what he was about to say. “You asked me what happened and I only said that I found someone to go to the prom with. Guess what, that’s exactly what happened because that’s what I told her.”

 

            “Oh,” that’s all he could say.

 

            “Keeks,”  he held his hands tighter. Looking  “Do you really think I would leave you hanging? Do you really think I would have the guts to go with someone else with you in alone in the corner? I may not be as smart as you, but I’m not a simpleton when it comes to this.

            “Now here I am, down on one knee, asking you the same question you’ve been denying for weeks. However, I am not asking you this as a lover as what the song tried to say, but I’m asking you this as a friend. I don’t care if our relationship will be the same, because what matter is that we are always together.”

            Kiku opened his mouth and was about to say something. But Alfred knew what was going to happen next, so he interrupted him, “I know you are going to deny me, but at least, hear me out: If you’re going, I am going. If you refuse, then I will refuse. If you insist, then I’ll answer to your request. If you want to live life, then let me join with you, because my life won’t be as fun without you. If you can’t do this for yourself or for me, at least, can you do it for us?”

     

            As much as what Alfred said was pretty corny, the rest of the people could tell that he said these in the most sincere way. They could tell the sacred honey in his voice, the compassion, and the plea in his tenor. It put them in a ceremonious silence until Matthew decided to pop up. “Kiku, I know I have no position to say this. But we can tell pretty much that you want to, and it is best if you don’t hold up that feeling. You only live once, right?”

     

            “I agree,” Lukas said. “And I know this is pretty much out of the character, but sometimes even I, myself told this to my sister when she talks about this idiot Dane: the world doesn’t care your status so long as you are happy to oblige. Don’t let pride take over you, and enjoy the little meanings in life.”

     

            These two catalysts were later joined by multiple students who agreed with them as they proceeded to chant “yes”, in hopes that Kiku would say so.

     

            “What say you, Keeks?” Alfred asked.

     

            Kiku, for his part, doesn’t need another soul to tell him what to do. He made up his decision! He took out his phone and tapped it several times before Alfred’s phone rang, notifying that he received a message. The blond was about to read it but the former stopped him, “Not here. Meet me at lunch.”

     

    He smiled. “I’ll be there.”

 

*          *            *

 

            Word of what Alfred did spread like wildfire. As Kiku or Alfred was walking in the halls, students and faculty stared at him, not in a bad way, but more like giving him salutations and congratulations even though Kiku’s answer was not yet confirmed. When Alfred entered in the cafeteria, his schoolmates looked up at him while they whispered to each other’s ear like gossipers, no surprise! They gave him smiles and a job well done, he thanked them before he went his way out to the usual place he and Kiku met, the same place where the two of them met each other for the first time under the dogwood tree, and there Kiku was standing underneath it.

 

            For a moment, he saw a nymph, an angel in the yellow light. He loved that sight of him, and that’s why he drew closer, whereas the students including their gang watched them from inside by the window.

 

            “Hey!” he called.

 

            Kiku turned back with a gentle smile. “Hello! Did you read it?”

 

            “Not yet,” he answered and joined him. “Look, I’m sorry, again, if I ever butchered your language.”

 

            “No you didn’t,” the Asian said, “In fact, I love it. And I’m proud of you.”

 

            Alfred made a small laugh. “You always say that.”

 

            “Because it’s true,” he answered softly. “Don’t you want to read it?”

 

            “Sure! Hold on,”

 

            “Since you proposed to me in Japanese I choose to answer you in Japanese as well. You can read Hiragana, right?” Kiku said while Alfred took out his phone.

 

            “Of course, I do. I’m your friend.”

 

            Of course, you do.

     

            Alfred scrolled down in his text message and read the latest text he had in his phone: it was Kiku’s answer:

     

            はい

            (Hai!)

     

            Alfred reacted like a man who had been accepted by fiancé to his husband.